What’s Your Hurry?


Steve Nauman

Shortly after I had turned 16 years old, I tested for and received my drivers license. Then almost immediately, my father had plans for me to drive his truck to Syracuse (NY) at times—not just to give him a break (he loved being in the city and dealing with all the vendors)—but mostly because he had been waiting to have an operation and there was no one else to do the driving or buying for him. Now….. even though I was very excited about the challenge and responsibility….. I was also scared!

I was just a 16 year old country boy, driving a truck into a big city. (there were no GPS or cell phones in those days!) plus, I’d be dealing with “seasoned businessmen”, who were my father’s age or older! But you know what happened?

When I made those trips, I learned so much more than I ever could have imagined. I don’t know if it was the friendly respect those vendors had for my father, or they just wanted to help out “the kid”! But almost all of them were nicer than I’d ever seen them and they gave me incredible tidbits of business knowledge, that would be beneficial to me when I started my own company!

But one thing that my father always stressed to me was how to load that truck! Sometimes we would be driving back with a lot of weight on the truck, and it was critical that the weight was distributed correctly. He also warned me about how differently the truck will handle with a heavy load on board….. I still remember him saying to me in regards to a heavy load: “If you think you’re going slow, go slower. It’s better to get there 15 minutes late…..than never.”

Years later, I had my own manufacturing business and parts were machined according to the “cycle time” or how many seconds it took to make the part. You can try to run any part as fast as you want, BUT the maximum speed will always be controlled by certain things like: type and size of material, tooling, limits of the machine etc.

Well, one time we had a young employee with good intentions who “set a job up” in a machine that normally ran good at a 12 second cycle time. He decided that he would speed it up and reduce the cycle time to 8 seconds! There was soon a fair amount of smoke coming from the tooling area of that machine, so I asked him about it.

He was real proud that he found a way, to increase productivity by so much! (the only problem was, he hadn’t found anything , except he was about to experience more problems and down-time) I told him: “You’ll get more parts if you slow it down.” He looked at me like I was from another planet! He said: “No, I cut 4 seconds off the cycle time, we’re going to get more parts than ever! About 15 minutes later he came to me and said the machine was down and he was setting it up again at 12 seconds because all the tooling had burned up at 8 seconds…..

Each of us in our own personal lives, find times where we just need to slow things down a little. The way you like to relax is probably different from mine. But I can relax by just being outside and observing nature, the seasons, wildlife etc. God has put a beautiful world out there for us to care for, but also to enjoy!

Then Jesus said, “let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 NLT

Till Next Time…..

Steve Nauman

These wonderful posts are written by my good friend Steve Nauman. He lives on a farm in northern Indiana with his wife, Ruth.

He owned and operated a machine shop until 2020. These stories come from the people and experiences that made lasting impressions upon him as he grew up in his father's general store in Upstate NY and later in his own business.